Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Job Fairs Aren't!

When I was young I loved that Animal Fair song with the lyrics, "I went to the animal fair; the birds and the beasts were there..."
I really don't know why I liked it so much because when you analyze the words it's quite lame.  But when you're a kid you don't think about that.
Kids are not obligated to delve deeper into the meaning of things or question every word that comes out of a grown-ups mouth.  Lucky for the parents they don't or the phrase, "Do as I say, not as I do," would be quite overworked.
Yesterday I, and many other Human animals went to another so-called Job Fair.  I say 'so-called' since they don't really offer any good jobs and are by no means fair.
What most if not all companies are looking for when they set up these unfortunately necessary diversions from sitting at home are sales rep.  In other words if you can sell their product so that they can make more money then they will let you work for them but you must prove it!  And the pay, while not minimum wage is nevertheless far below your worth.
All companies pay their workers less than they are worth, that's a fact of business.  You cannot pay a person who is bringing in $50K to the company coffers a salary of $60K!  Generally it's a safe bet to double the numbers.  If you are worth $100K you will make around $50K.
So what's wrong with that?
On the face of it nothing.
But those of us who are unemployed are not children anymore and we don't automatically believe that a baboon is sitting combing his auburn hair by the light of the moon.
Many of the jobs that are being offered involve ridiculous hours.  And when you factor those hours into the imaginary 'doubling' equation above you come up with an approximate four or five timer.  Your compensation from the company these days is far less than your worth.
And they can get away with this because we are all assuming things are awful out there.  AND THEY ARE!
But not as awful for corporations as they would like you to believe.
The stock market just had a tremendous drop but look where it sits in relation to start of the recession.  Look at the bottom lines of the major companies and note that the unemployment numbers are nowhere near the same point on the recovery graph.
One company I spoke with proudly touted that their call center would soon extend its hours of operation from 7am until midnight!  And if you are lucky enough to get an interview and be hired you are required to work weekends.  And the plan is for customer service department to eventually be open 24 - 7.  Your compensation is set but your hours and days are not.  As with most vultures, I mean company heads these days they are demanding much more work and far more stressful hours for the same pay.  And you do not need a math degree to figure out that is virtually a lower salary.
Now when you are out of work and in need of an income, any income you are inclined to take anything that comes your way rather than sit around like that monkey.
But don't rely on the elephant or the party in Congress represented by it for any help.  They have not changed their tune.  For the most part they are the skunks we are bumping into every time we seek help.
And watch out when the elephant sneezes for as the song goes, 'that will be the end of the monk, the monk, the monk.'

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Are We There Yet?

According to Andy Warhol everyone gets and or is entitled to fifteen minutes of fame.
But is the opposite also true?  Does everyone get fifteen minutes of shame?
If the latter is true when can we finally be rid of those shameful Republicans who have far outlived their fifteen such as:

Jeff, I don't give a shit about humans or anyone from the North, Sessions;

Lindsay, I'll stay in the closet forever if I have to, Graham;

and the granddaddy of them all
DICK, only the good die young - So I'm here forever Cheeenie.

With the hearings exposing more of these hypocrites' views to the public we get a glimpse into their true feelings; their uncensored thoughts.  Republicans are decrying the fact that Elena Kagan liked Thurgood Marshall, that activist justice who brought equality to African Americans by desegregating schools.
Mr. Marshall fought the Brown v. Board of Education fight against the racist mentality of the South.  The Republicans seem to wish we could turn the clock back.  I guess they are bored with education, they sure act that way!
Elena Kagan will most likely not be the greatest justice ever.  She may not become an activist justice of note either.  But given the environment into which she is being installed and the activism of the unfortunately young conservative majority she will find herself on the wrong end of any 5 to 4 decision that concerns issues of fairness to the majority of human beings;
The corporations will continue to win out over the individual for years to come;
Women's rights will falter and fade;
And minorities will stay in the shadows.
She will have her work cut out for her and we wish her well.
May her fifteen minutes outlast Scalia; Alito; Roberts; Long Don Silver et. al.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Mr. Big Wins Again

It's finally clear as a whistle.
With the two votes controlled mainly by the minority Party of NO Congress has explained the correct phylum of entities in America.
In order to get any semblance of financial reform passed they demanded concessions.  Those concessions basically amount to the neutering of any bite that might have been written into the bill to protect the consumer, the little guy.
The banks will hem and haw but secretly hee haw over the latest sleight of hand by the magicians on "K" Street.
And at the same time the minority was once again getting their way over the eunuchs of the majority they also effectively stopped any aid to the hopelessly unemployed pawns of this economically depressed country.
The message is as noted above quite clear; if you lose your job because a big bank screwed up then it's your fault.
After all why the hell did you trust them in the first place?
You're an idiot.  You must be insane!!!
And the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results.  (People of Kansas please remember that definition in November!)
So the Government cannot give you aid because you will only lose it by doing the same thing again! 
But big business will replace the CEO and all will be fine!  Of course the old CEO will still be on the board of directors of his old company as well as all the other big corporations but let's not be too picky.
So the final analyses is in:
Big business - too big to fail!
The little guy - too small to save!

A 5-4 Win for Colt 45; 357 Magnum; AK47; Winchester 70 etc.

I know that I am probably in the minority here but I am used to that.  After all sanity has lost its foothold on the Supreme Court and every decision that comes down from that once unbiased and fair court appears to be on the side against humans.  I guess the court has succumbed to a different definition of 'fair and balanced' as disseminated by decidedly dumb individuals on the Fox (not really) News station.
My feelings for that once august body is now just disgust as they ruled in favor of murder and mayhem by striking down any State's or City's right to limit the use of hand guns.  The 5 - 4 ruling is supposed to be meant as reinforcement to the second amendment and for the sake of self-defense only.  And we all know that gunshots are fired in self defense, right?  I mean no one ever fired a gun in anger or rage against someone they just didn't like.  And this is America so love it or leave it babe.  If you don't like it then you are my enemy and I must defend myself against you.  Hey, that gives me the right to take out my concealed weapon and shoot your f'n head off because it's self defense.  Thanks Justice Alito!  You are a friend to all murderers.
I would love for a learned man or woman to read and examine the intent of the Second Amendment as it was originally written by our founding fathers during those oh so different times!  I believe someone of the stature of a Jonathan Turley would correct the war mongering Justice and explain that an armed militia does not mean every Tom, Dick, and Harriet should be allowed to carry a concealed weapon anywhere he or she pleases.  The militia is the Police force.  The police have a hard enough job without worrying about every single person in the country carrying loaded AK47s.
The National Rifle Association is so hell-bent on making money out of their business of death that they see, or at least say they see nothing wrong with concealed weapons in bars or on railroad trains.  I would suggest to National Rifle Ass President Ronald L. Schmeits that he should have been on that Long Island Railroad train with Colin Ferguson back in 1993!  Perhaps he would have had a concealed weapon as well and the two murderous morons could have had an old fashioned shoot out.  Then they could have pried the weapon out of his cold dead hand!
For our safety and well being we are told by law that:
We must wear seat belts when we drive;
We must have and pay for auto insurance;
We cannot smoke in public places;
We cannot take harmful drugs;
We cannot allow under age drinking;
And the list goes on and on.
Our lives are filled with rules and regulations all supposedly meant to protect us from harm.
So why the disconnect when it comes to guns?
The most powerful lobby in DC is the NRA - and by powerful I mean money, not fire power although...
As I said I am probably in the minority but I do believe, as does the NRA that guns do not actually kill people.

Friday, June 25, 2010

The Trouble with America

Right this moment we have:
An economy that is far from great;
Unemployment at record levels;
An unprecedented mad-made oil spill disaster;
Ongoing wars around the world;
and a financial reform bill that doesn't.

Sounds awful, right?
Well that clearly depends upon which side of the aisle your seat is on.

The Republicans are trying hard to contain their joy at how bad things are for humans in the country.  But occasionally they have to change their underwear.

If you listen to them speak they are to a person on the stump about how poorly the Democrats are doing and how they cannot get anything done.  Of course they leave out the part where they are the main obstacle but let's not be picky.

Take financial reform:

A clear analyses of the bill that passed will show that no bank will be hurt by the new provisions.  They may lose a little on fees that must stop but they will more than make up for that loss on new fees such as huge charges for checking accounts.
Don't like to pay for checking?
You can get around that by keeping $5,000 in your checking account at no interest.

And should there be another financial meltdown ala 2008 this bill has nothing to stop or mitigate the pain, for humans that is.

So what's the point?  How did it pass?
In order to gain enough support from the Party of No the Democrats had to give in on many key points, as always.

The Republicans are so happy that their friends in big business will not be hurt and no bank will be left behind that they are nearly orgasmic!
But on the airways they still point out that the bill is awful and will hurt and Obama and his crew are destroying America.
Why the fake disconnect?
Well they can't come out and tell the truth!  Why break their track record now, when they are about to take back control of the government?

As for unemployment just listen to what the Republicans are saying.

If you are on unemployment you are:
A bum;
A hobo;
A drug addict;
A low life only interested in fornicating;
A lazy good for nothing.

I could go on but I believe I have just described the entire Republican Party.  They are bums; hypocrites; no better than hobos; many are addicts although mostly sex addicts but... and we already know they love fornicating, many with their gay baggage carriers.
Basically they are good for nothing and nothing is what we humans will get when they take over in November.

Here is the Republican public service message they are subliminally broadcasting to all the people who for no fault of their own are out of work, "DROP DEAD! STOP LYING AROUND DOING NOTHING EXCEPT TAKE DRUGS AND FORNICATE!"

And to make sure they cannot do any of those dastardly things while out of a job they have blocked unemployment insurance!
Bravo you bastards.  That should make the country whole again - create an entire culture of people living on the streets just like the first great depression back in the 1930s.

And isn't there an Oil spill somewhere?

BP is not allowing reporters on the beaches to film the cleanup and they are threatening to fire anyone caught wearing protective gear while picking up their mess.
Who died and made them God?

But the Republicans could care less about all that as they are taking BP lobbyists on fund raising events!
And while we the people are being asked to chip in and help the gulf states out of their crisis the Republican leadership is demanding more deep sea drilling and using oil company judges to block any attempt to stop them.

We should stop sending aid to the region until they at least start acting like concerned grown-ups!

But what is the point of all this negativity from the 'right?'
The point is as always to get back in power.  And once in power they will implement all those wonderful pogroms, I mean programs to help big oil and big business further screw the public and further fill thier pockets with the bribe money they so love.

And that is the trouble with this country - Even though a quick analyses of all things politic will show the above to be true a majority of people across the country will still vote for the Party of No.  That's because the Republicans can show that the Democrats have not been able to get the Republicans to budge on anything.
Think it's bad now?  Wait!

They used to point to the people of Kansas who continually vote against their own interests.  The phrase has become, "the trouble with Kansas."
Unfortunately it is no longer a Kansas phenomenon. The virus has infected America and reached epidemic proportions.

An incredibly intelligent strategy and one that has stood the test of time.  And we the people are doomed since we cannot seem to learn from history.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Don't Stop - It Hurts Too Much

And the hits keep coming.
I just finished writing about the good people of Bergen County NJ who seem to have trouble connecting the dots when I see the people of the Gulf rising to the defense of the oil industry!
With the entire country and many parts of the civilized world looking on these people are spending time; effort; and money to have the temporary ban on oil drilling lifted!
"Please allow the greedy bastards to continue soiling our land!  We need the jobs."
It is a move that brings to mind some of the terrible symptoms of the mental illness known as 'Munchausen by proxy.'  This syndrome causes a mother to make her child sick in order to gain attention and care.  It is the sickest form of self promotion there is as the fifteen minutes of fame derived by the mother could end up causing the child its life.
But in this case the disease is real so the danger is more imminent and the continuation of the cause more diabolical.
There have always been thrill seeking sickos such as the fireman who started fires so that he could be first on the scene to save the would-be victims and thus be touted as a hero.
Continue to drill and spew death dealing drudge to the coastline but keep the aid coming to repair the area.
It is a classic disconnect between 'what is' and 'what should be.'
And as surely as I live and breathe these same individuals will blame President Obama and his team for not fixing the problem.  They will blame the administration for not spending and sending more money to the region; money that will go down the well!
All those who demand the torpedoes be ignored should be ashamed of themselves.
If the lawsuit to lift the temporary ban on oil drilling in the Gulf of Mexico is successful then we should stop all aid to the region and let them clean up their own act!  In this day and age we must draw the line in the sand somewhere.
We can not continue to throw good money after bad when they wish to throw out the baby with the oil water.

Am I Blue?

Can you have your cake and eat it too?
Some say it is possible but in Bergen County New Jersey you had better purchase that cake by Saturday.
In what amounts to another 2 + 2 = 3 move the legislature of that 18th century area has once again voted to keep their “Blue Laws” in place.
For those of you in more modern places in the world, like Mali or any town on the Appalachian Trail ‘Blue Laws’ are in place to make sure no shopping is allowed on the Sabbath.
Of course the fact that different religions celebrate their Sabbath on different days and some people do not celebrate a Sabbath at all and somewhat more importantly this is America where the separation of Church and State is supposed to be in place does not seem to bother the people of Route 17 in Paramus.
It wouldn’t be news or really bother anyone if not for one other fact, residents are complaining that they are losing jobs and revenue and need more money coming into the area to help them out.
In normal times when most people are employed their only chance to shop for needed or spontaneous and unneeded items would be on a weekend.  And for most people a weekend consists of Saturday and Sunday.  But Sunday is the seventh day and as all good God fearing people know on the seventh day He rested and so shall ye all!
Far be it from me to tell other people how to live or which false religion to espouse but when you complain that your backwards ways are holding you back I frankly do not want to hear about it!
Perhaps the next vote should be to rename the area, Edgar Bergen County after the other famous dummy.
Is it news that people who do not believe in taking medicine of any kind will most likely suffer an earlier demise?  These people choose their path and while I find it ill advised and sad I respect their right to their opinion and practice.  I do not have the same laissez faire attitude when they force their children along the same path without proper education as to the facts.
But I would take issue if they were to complain and demand longer; healthier lives from their government while not allowing doctors to perform their expertise.
Oh and about the 2 + 2 = 3 note at the top?  As a result of the deal to keep the heathen stores closed on the Sabbath there will be tremendous budget cuts for the school system.  That means this year graduates may find a bit more latitude when it comes to acceptable answers.
So to the fair and just people of Bergen County New Jersey I say peace my brother.  May you live long and fruitful lives.
And don't let the loud noise on route 17 bother you on Sundays.  Take pity on the weary travelers as they escape into the 21st century seeking bargains.  They search only to find greener more enlightened pastures.

Blue Law Origin

Monday, June 21, 2010

Lighthouse v. Wigwam

After receiving recognition and approval by the Federal government the
Shinnecock Indians are shopping around for a location upon which to build a casino.
I usually don’t like to join the ‘nimby’ crowd because they are usually driven by hypocritical standards but this is one time I must give in.  But I am doing so not for mere personal reasons.
For a decade or so Nassau Coliseum and their tenant hockey team has been a blight on the area.  Neither has gone through a badly needed make-over in years.
But a sort of knight in somewhat self-serving armor recently appeared on the scene.  Charles Wang, the suffering owner of the Islanders offered a wonderful and viable solution to the problem.  He proposed the transformation of the decaying land that makes up the coliseum and its environs into a Mecca showplace to be known as “The Lighthouse.”
Admittedly his original plans were for a lager than life mini-city that could also turn the already busy Meadowbrook/Hempstead Turnpike into a traffic nightmare.
But with proper planning the benefits of the Lighthouse would far outweigh the drawbacks.
The number of jobs a project of this magnitude would produce in this terribly depressed market could make it worthwhile on its own.
But for some reason the local edition of the Nations ‘Party of No’ currently controlled by the ubiquitous Kate Murray has blocked every attempt to break ground.  Citing reason after ridiculous reason the Hempstead Town Supervisor and her wrecking crew have effectively turned the once great vision of a towering achievement into a farcical monumental inferno.
Now enter the Shinnecock tribe from the far east, of Long Island that is.  Their number one choice of location for a casino that will benefit the tribe and most likely any politician who smokes a peace pipe with them is, you guessed it, the Nassau Coliseum.
In one fell swoop it all becomes clear.  All the protestations about traffic concerns and bringing the area down goes out the wigwam and the true stinking greed of the politicians involved stands before us naked and unabashed.
Does anyone feel a casino will be good for traffic flow?
Does anyone feel the surrounding area will be beautified by its addition?
Does anyone know what it looks like two blocks off the boardwalk of Atlantic City?
Does anyone think Hempstead, and by that I mean the residents who pay taxes not the politicians, will see a dime of benefit from the casino business?
And I would have reservations about the future health of the businesses around the casino.  May I suggest they don’t request increases on their deliveries of cigarettes, liquor or any commodity for that matter.
Two very different goals are being pursued.  The Indian casino will become a Shinnecock Nation destination and Mr. Wang and company will be looking for places to build up in Kansas City.  In the end both will score big.  And in the end we will be shut out.
If you live in the Hempstead area expect to see an increase in mailers sporting the smiling chubby face of Kate Murray touting all the good things she is doing.
Well at least she and her ilk are supporting the local post office albeit with our tax dollars.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Apology Excepted

The team mentality is generally good thing.  And being part of a team is nice.  It affords team members the feeling of security; the safety of numbers.
Labor unions and such are teams on steroids if you will.  They add the power of large numbers of like minded members to the already important safety and security base.
Teams come in various sizes and degrees.  A team of oarsmen in a scull working well together can win many a race.  And a team of football players is as strong as their weakest link.  The opponent will find and exploit that weakness!
But not every situation in life demands teamwork.  There are occasions when we must act as individuals and one of those times is as a representative in Congress.
Of course it has become impossible to get anything done on your own these days but as an elected official you have an obligation to work for the greater good for those who placed you in power.  Sometimes you must go against the party to serve your constituents.
And that leads me to the curious case of the modern Republican Party.  They seem to act as homogenous nuclear body.  When one person in this team that occupies the so-called ‘right’ comes up with a plan or a talking point it is almost as though the rest of the party espouses it immediately as if by osmosis.  Within an instant a Republican on the east coast may say "Ah" and a Californian says, "Choo."
And this is a problem for America as a whole.
Earlier this week Joe Barton (Republican oilman, I mean Congressman from, Duh – Texas) opened his mouth and spoke the truth from his heart.  Well in his case his heart is located in his wallet and is manipulated by his grubby oil soaked fingers.
He removed his head from it's normal resting place deep within his colon to apologize for the current anger and frustration in America aimed at BP.
But he didn't stop there.  He further apologized for the way the President of the United States was defending America against a foreign corporation that created an environmental disaster unlike any other in the history of this country.
He apologized that the President of the United States was demanding restitution from this foreign entity to repay for their actions that literally killed thousands of animals as well as miles and miles of formerly pristine coastline; coastline that provides for and is the lifeblood for many industries in the Gulf of Mexico.
He called the restitution money a 'slush fund' and decried the fact that it would hurt their bottom line.
He basically ignored the fact that the lives and livelihoods lost as a result of their uncaring quest for profit was unprecedented and made the Exxon Valdez oil spill look like a spin in the tub with rubber duckies!
BUT as despicable as his words were to humans at least they were his.  Bravo Mr. Barton for speaking your mind!
You see in America we have freedom of speech.
Or do we?
It seems that the pollsters and planners of the Party of No practically puked.  One of their own had made a huge gaff.
The edict came down at the speed of light.  Representative Barton’s words had to disappear faster than a pregnant nun from an abbey.
So before the blogs had time to reprint the offending words Joe Barton was styling his apology for the apology.  The reconstruction of the misconstrued words were reconstituted, repackaged and reintroduced to the world as nothing but a silly misunderstanding.
Oh that Joe Barton, he's such a kidder!
Oil slick Joe was talking one for the team.  He was fitted with a muzzle!
But the real problem is Mr. Barton doesn’t wish to apologize for the apology and given the opportunity he would apologize for apologizing for the apology.  It's enough to make a spin doctor spin himself dizzy.
Truth be told the entire party agreed with his first apology.  They would like to continue raking in the oil bribery dollars unabated.  But they know it looks bad for the moment so they'll just have to cover their shortfall elsewhere.  Perhaps an advance from the National Rifle Association, or some other favorable lobby will see them through the summer months.
And even though the people of Texas elected this person to represent them and their particular needs he is not their representative, he works for and answers to the leadership of the Republican team!
Joe Barton forgot one important fact; the word Republican has one but there is no “I” in team.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

America - A Third World Power?

I received the following e-mail explaining the feelings about big oil and our relationship unto them:

this was taken from a blog discussing our pres. getting the $$$from b.p. and the repugs reaction

In short, our best bet is to act like some third world shithole that bends over backwards to get a little corporate investment, no matter what the cost.

My humble answer to my good friend Larry F. from Henderson NV was as follows:

You are missing the point – compared to corporations we are a third world shit-hole.

This country is no longer an entity that would be recognized by the founding fathers, most of whom would be thrown out of office in the primaries!  A careful reading of the second amendment to the Constitution will elicit an understanding that it was not intended to allow individual citizens to carry weapons, concealed or otherwise everywhere they went!  It was intended to allow for the arming of a lawful militia; a police force to protect the people.  Both the 2nd and the 9th amendments have been bastardized by the bastards since their inception.  And we the people are left with the illegitimate offspring of their politically strange bedfellow unions.

My latest thought is that our political system is way past broken and will not be fixed in our lifetime.  The party not in power realizes that they have to continue to block any real legislation in order to make the party in power look inept and unable to govern.  Then when it comes time to vote in November they can point to an ineffectual reign by the incumbents as reason to vote them out.  But when they are placed in power the new minority will be forced to pursue the same winning strategy in order to regain the majority.  This vicious cycle will produce a predictable result; politicians will continue to make fortunes both in salaries and kickbacks from lobbyists and we the people will continue to blog about how bad things are in America.

As frustrating as this may seem it is nevertheless the fact that until and unless some true ideological selfless non-egotistical politician can come to power in Washington ala the mythical Mr. Smith we are stuck in place, mired and helpless against the onslaught of corporate greed.

The Chinese will pull even with us and surpass our economy along with all the former so-called third world countries just as surely as if we had forfeited our right to compete on the world stage.

We can point our fingers to previous administrations and even prove corruption therein but it will not help our cause.  Others will merely cry “sour grapes” and tell us to grow up.  Remember the ridiculously revered Ronald Reagan (I'll pause here for any conservatives who accidentally linked to this blog to genuflect) when he said, "There you go again."

We must learn from our history and never forget what happened in the past.  But we must also not get caught in the losing strategy of the blame game.

Most intelligent people know who did what to whom and even why.  Unfortunately the electorate for the most part will not understand these facts.  They know only that things are bad and the incumbents must therefore be to blame.

And so the cycle goes on just as the world turns.  But until the worm turns we will not move forward.

President Obama had a fantastic chance of pulling us through but his idealism allowed him to think the Republicans wanted to help.  He was only half right as they indeed wanted to help – themselves!  And they have succeeded in doing so.

With the advent and help of the Tea Party and the Oath Keepers and all the other fringe groups espoused by their backers the Republicans have sown the seeds of revolt.  Their actions are as evil as pouring salt on an open wound and then claiming they have the balm to heal the pain.

We constantly hope that our leaders in Congress will “Man up” and do the right thing.  The biggest problem with that is everyone disagrees on what that ‘right thing’ is!  We, or rather they have forgotten the simple phrase, "For the good of the people!"

But of course, as it says below my name at the bottom my e-mails – It’s just my opinion!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Who is Running the Country?

Alternate title - HERD of America!

A quick thought on analogies of the day:

With American citizens being asked to pay into our own retirement funds and social security and Medicare while Congress is exempted the phrase that comes to mind is, "What's good for the goose is good for the gander."

With BP and all the other oil giants being able to write their own rules and regulations thanks to the last administration of dumb and dumber the thought is, "The foxes are minding the hens."

But those pigs weren't the only ones feeding at the trough, Wall Street didn't have to hedge too much to make their feed money.

And the current minority party is doing a fantastic job of aping a stubborn mule blocking every move to reform the system.  It's hard to use an eagle's eye when your head is in an ostrich hole. (I refrained from using the other more obvious hole.)

And with the media reporting and giving air to all the nay (neigh?) sayers turning us into a nation of sheep or cattle being led to the slaughter one clear picture is emerging!

We are being treated like a country of animals while businesses are still farming work and jobs out to other countries.

I used to believe that all men were created equal - Paging Mr. Orwell!  May we have a rewrite please?

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Close the Hatch Already!

Orrin Hatch has proposed that all people getting unemployment insurance should have to go through drug testing to continue receiving aid.

This must seem fair to the elitist who thinks of himself and his fellow Republicans as masters of the universe.

But a closer look at the situation will elicit a cooler response.

When those of us who are unemployed were working we paid taxes.  Most if not all of that money went into a fund to keep our Government running.  Part of that Government is Congress.

When those of us who are not currently employed were working we produced products or performed services that were generally needed by others.  That which we did helped others live or enjoy their lives a little more.
Members of Congress don't actually produce anything.  In fact if we use the criterion of production they could be considered unemployed and on the public dole!

Of course we know better!  Congress does have a product - They produce ANGST!

When those of us who worked were employed we paid into Social Security - Congress does not.

When those of us who worked were employed we paid our fair share of taxesCongress does not.

When those of us who worked were employed we paid into MedicareCongress does not.

When those of us who worked were employed we were held to standards of decencyCongress is not.

When those of us who worked were employed we paid into our own pensions or retirement fundsCongress does not.

What's good for the goose should be good for the gander!

You no play the game - You no make the rules!

If the good Senator wants to open his hatch and his veins to periodic drug testing so be it but he has to have a better reason to come at me with a needle than the fact that I am unemployed!

If Mr. Hatch wishes to have us pee in a cup fine.

You see in Yiddish KOP pronounced CUP means head.  I would gladly pee in or on a cup if the CUP was his!

Hope Springs Eternal?

In order to live we need air to breathe and water to drink.
In order for businesses to make money they must figure out ways to make us pay for the air we breathe and water we drink.
Sadly those two statements are true.  But even sadder is the fact that Government is on the side of the businesses.
In the town of Huntington Long Island and more specifically the aptly named area known as Cold Springs Harbor there is a fight going on over one half of our life's needs, water.
For years the people of Cold Springs Harbor have enjoyed that pure cold liquid life emanating from the pipes they set up that tap into a natural spring deep below the town.
Sensing a new revenue stream Suffolk County cut the pipes under the guise of 'health concerns.'
Preying on the fears of the public has become the modus operandi of Government and this is a perfect place to tap into that with the hint that the water is unsafe.
But the glass is not even half empty in this case.  By shutting down the natural faucet the County is threatening to further drown the people of Cold Springs Harbor in more taxes.
"The water is unregulated," they stated which is government speak for not taxed.
But their stream of consciousness became more obvious when they added that the tapping of the well was unauthorized!  In other words the towns people were stealing?  And just how does the local government determine the owner of the natural spring?
Residents at a town meeting claimed that the spring is a historic landmark and should be protected.  Unfortunately this time that means from the government.
Town Supervisor Frank Petrone tried to calm the raging rapids of rancor by saying he wanted to get to the bottom of the issue.  He went on to say, "Do you think we want to cut this off?"
Uh, yeah!  We do think that, yes!!!
How much will it take to reopen the tap?
If we compress the name of the town Cold Springs Harbor into the acronym CSH we see that the issue boils down to only one thing.  To reopen the spring add an A just after the C!

Is We the People?

What does the phrase, "For the good of the people" mean?
On the surface and at its simplest it should be self evident.  The people should benefit from whatever it is we are talking about.  But just like the age old argument between the letter of the law and the spirit therein it is not that simple.
So when we parse the phrase and delve into it we find it to be as nuanced as anything else these days.
For example, which people are we speaking of and whose idea of good are we after?
Government is in place to ensure the safety and well being of all the people, since that is for whom they work.  In this country you should expect to be among the protected people even if you did not vote for the eventual winner of the job.  Imagine the chaos if this were not so.
But the people must allow those in power to do their job once in office even when they don't do it to our liking assuming they are not committing any crimes doing so.  They are after all and for the most part only human.  But that is not to say we must sit by and silently grit our teeth when we are not pleased.
When we see things going badly we must point them out.  And if the wrongs are not righted then we must ask why and not go softly into that goodnight.
In America we have only three legal ways to show our disgust for poor leadership; Peaceful protest; Voting the culprits out of office; or in the extreme impeachment.  Those who advocate or suggest a more violent method may be considered passionate but they are simply anarchistic-ally wrong!  By their own words they are admitting themselves to be committing tyranny.
For the moment the group most often espousing the words of tyranny is the so-called far right.  The fringe of the Republican party that is harboring groups such as the 'Tea Party' movement and the 'Oath Keepers' may be made up of good people but they are surely not thinking things through to their logical ends.
For example many of these people who are decrying Government take over of health care and demanding to be left alone are already enjoying the benefits of government-run Medicare and social security.
But by the same token Government is not always right.  And unfortunately their mistakes cost the people dearly.
The elected officials are supposed to be taking care of the masses but instead they are answering to a higher court; higher in the sense of tax brackets.
The immensely powerful lobbies and special interest groups that tell our leaders what to do and when to do it have come to expect Congress to say how high in response to their order to jump.  If this were not so then the Gulf of Mexico would not be in the midst of the greatest man made environmental disaster in this nation's history.
For the good of the people (their investors) the oil industry said damn the torpedoes; full speed ahead in their efforts to drill for more profits.  And out of each dollar they earned Congress received, for lack of a more pristine term kickbacks.  Although not as blatant as a wad of cash stuffed into a Senator's pocket campaign donations to use any way they like given during lavish dinners at exclusive restaurants or on outings in the Caribbean can speak volumes.
So the original phrase in question is now more understandable.  It has morphed into a more oligarchic meaning.
'The people' are those with enough cash in hand to influence the definition and distribution of 'the good.'

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Don't Get Sick! (In America)

In the beginning of May I was told by the company that threw me away that my COBRA coverage expired.  It was just another chapter in the ongoing pursuit of more money on their part.
But they were blatantly wrong.  They were either lying or showing their stupidity since by New York State law I had another 17 months left.
Given those two choices and knowing they will never admit that they are stupid and I don’t like to use that word anyway they therefore must be lying bastards.
On May 10th my wife had a procedure done at an in network medical lab, the Endo Ctr.
Procedures at the Endo Ctr. are covered under the morass that is my current policy.
On June 1st a bill was sent out to us explaining that we must pay for the services since we are not covered.
The bill we received was the first of 3 bills totaling $6,350.
I immediately contacted the old lb's and was told to call their agent to straighten it out.
The agent, a lovely lady in a tough job looked into things and said that Endo Ctr. must have sent the claim to the wrong place.
The Endo Ctr. said they are in network and therefore sent it to the correct location as per the instructions on the insurance card.  They have done exactly the same thing in the past without problems.
But you see the insurance company did a very smart thing a while back and created another division between the little guy and claim payments. My carrier is Guardian and they created Magnacare and decided that some of the claims must go there but not all of them.
Don’t bother to ask which because it will change with the need to obfuscate.
If it was a fair system then a claim submitted to either of these two crooked entities would be taken care of by forwarding it to the correct party WITHIN THEIR OWN CORPORATION!
It is clear that the provided service occurred during the days which the lb's had us as not covered.
I discovered that in order to get paid the Endo Ctr. would have to resubmit or call the insurance carrier to straighten it out.
I let the Endo Ctr. people know this and they said I had to do it.
I told them that if they wish to get paid they should do it.
They said it was my responsibility.
I said it was theirs since I paid my insurance to the lb's and I was covered.
They said the insurance company will just consider it a duplicate submission of the same bill and ignore it.
I agreed but stated if you merely send it in without calling or explaining the situation as I am doing now that will happen.
They said then call the insurance carrier and explain it to them.
My reply as any human would give was, “And I should do this SO THAT YOU CAN GET PAID???”
Not only did the lb's throw me away now I must do the work of the medical industry without being paid by them so that all parties involved can get their money???
The insurance industry and the doctor’s offices and medical centers around this country play this game day in and day out.  It is called pass the buck. And they are aided and abetted by the lying bastards of the business world.  And it is the little guy, the individual who constantly gets pushed around and shat upon.
The bottom line in this is simply that I paid all the bills and followed all the rules and checked beforehand to make sure that everyone involved was ready to go and all were covered and no problems would arise and still I GET F**KED.
I have to correct all of their ON PURPOSE MISTAKES!!!
I have to make all the calls to GET THEM THEIR MONEY!!!
And if I cannot succeed I will be held liable for the full amount of their inflated medical bills!
And all the time I am going crazy raising my blood pressure they are sitting in their ivory towers with their golden reins watching us run around like the idiots we are!
Healthcare reform?

Bottom line – After five phone conversations and twelve e-mails I received this:
As previously stated Guardian has not received this claims and issued any denials.  I reached out to MagnaCare to inquire if an error occurred on their end.  MagnaCare did confirm they received the claims and had been denied by them in error.  MagnaCare stated they will resubmit the claims to Guardian for processing.

So in other words they are finally admitting that they lied and will NOW start the process of trying to deny a legitimate claim.  The fun continues and we the people are the pawns in this high stakes cluster f**k designed to kill off the poor and take as much money from the middle class as possible.
I will no doubt receive a notice that some if not all of the claim will be denied because there was a full moon at the time of the procedure and page 496 – paragraph 14 – lines 7 and 8 of the insurance bible clearly states that...

Think I am alone?  OF course you don't! According to this linked article I am in the majority!!!

One more thought - In no way do I feel Rwanda is a better country than the U.S. but did you know that they make it a point of covering every citizen with health insurance for the exorbitant price of $2 per year?

Anyone believe that our representatives in Congress are unaware of the goings on?